Congress advances veterans health care bill

A bipartisan legislative agreement to improve veterans’ health care was announced on July 28 by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees. The compromise bill would authorize $17 billion to address the VA health program’s recent problems of long waiting lists and and falsified records. The goal is to approve the bill and send it to the President for signature before Congress recesses at the end of this week. The legislation would make it easier for veterans to seek care from outside doctors if they cannot get a prompt appointment with Veterans Affairs doctors. Funding is included to hire new VA doctors and nurses and to open new clinics.